The Newberry College Wolves men’s soccer team has been picked to finish ninth in the South Atlantic Conference in the annual poll of the league’s coaches, which was released Tuesday.
The preseason all-conference teams were also announced with Kofi Kufuor and Adrian Ochoa named to the second team.
Newberry enters its second season under head coach Barry Slagle, coming off a 5-12 season that saw the Wolves upset No. 9 Lander in overtime before completing a 1-8 season in SAC action.
The Wolves received 16 votes in the preseason poll and return 14 letterwinners from last year’s team, while adding 15 new members to the squad.
Kufuor, a senior from Accra, Ghana, returns as the team’s leading scorer from 2011. The Ghanaian tallied seven goals on the season, including the game winner in overtime against Lander.
Kufuor played for Newberry in 2009, before returning to the Wolves roster in 2011 and excelling at the forward position.
Ochoa, a senior from East Point, Ga., enters his second straight season as the Wolves’ co-captain under Slagle.
The 2009 SAC Freshman of the Year, scored one goal and added three assists in his junior campaign, while starting all 17 matches for the Wolves.
Last season’s second place finisher in the SAC regular season standings, Tusculum, has been tabbed as the favorite to win the 2012 league title.
Mars Hill, a 2011 NCAA Tournament team, is slotted as the No. 2 team in the SAC by the coaches. Anderson was third, with Lincoln Memorial fourth, Lenoir-Rhyne fifth, Carson-Newman sixth and a tie for seventh between Catawba and Wingate.
Newberry was picked ninth, while Brevard was selected 10th.